Alumi-Craft-Lucas-Oil-Off-Road-3-19-13Chandler, AZ – The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series 2013 season opener at Firebird International Raceway delivered great results for Alumi Craft Race Cars. The word is out; if you want to run out front, get an Alumi Craft. The 16 car field included eight Alumi Craft cars that performed flawlessly all weekend. New Alumi Craft racers to the Pro Buggy fray are Veteran buggy racer John Fitzgerald, Dillon Reimer and Sterling Cling.

Qualifying on Saturday saw Bradley Morris second fastest followed by Geoffrey Cooley, Larry Job and Dave Mason Jr. rounding out the top five. The qualifying session went well but the main event would be the true test. Saturday’s race results saw a repeat of qualifying order but with Dave Mason Jr. and Larry Job switching positions and John Fitzgerald moving into the top five. The order was the same but not the placing. Bradley Morris took the win and Alumi Craft racers took all top five finishing positions.

“It’s incredible to come out and sweep the first podium of the season,” said Alumi Craft owner John Cooley, “It’s great seeing these young guns running out front; taking wins and podiums. The Alumi Craft cars look to be equally competitive. All of our racers get the latest set-up data we can provide. We take all the information we learn racing Geoffrey’s car and share it with the rest of our Alumi Craft racers. Geoffrey might not like it but it’s critical to the constant improvement we strive to achieve. Everyone gets the same info so it’s up to Geoffrey and everyone else to out-drive the other Alumi Craft teams.”

Lucas Oil’s streamlined class format for 2013 concentrates on the four pro classes Prolite, Pro Buggy, Pro-2 and Pro-4. The change gives teams more track time including an additional qualifying session Sunday morning. The additional track time gives teams more time to work on adjustments and to get the cars dialed in for changing race conditions. The added track time showed as the racing was more competitive than ever.

On Sunday, Dave Mason Jr. was fastest on the track in qualifying. Dave was followed by Bradley Morris in third, Geoffrey Cooley in fourth, John Fitzgerald in fifth and Larry Job in sixth.  Track position is critical at Firebird. It’s important to get out front if possible and work to hold off the rest of the field. With competition yellows a thing of the past, there is no more holding back until the second half of the race. Barring any cautions, it’s on from the drop of the flag.

Races on Sunday are usually a little more intense. There is no race to compete in on the following day so drivers have a tendency to be a little aggressive. There were great battles going on all over the track but the top four were really going at it. The open wheel cars are different from the trucks. There are no fenders to bang and most contact ends in a crash but that doesn’t mean they don’t touch at times.

As the final laps wore down, Geoffrey Cooley made a daring pass on Alumi Craft competitor Bradley Morris for the lead. The section leading onto the front stretch splits into two lanes separated by a dirt berm. Drivers can go high or low leading into the final corner. Seeing a tiny window of opportunity, Geoffrey used the bank of dirt separating the two lines to berm shot around the outside of Bradley Morris for the lead. “There was a little contact but nothing abusive,” said Geoffrey Cooley, “It was a clean pass. I might not have been the fastest all weekend in qualifying but we did what it took to win the race. My spotter Matt Majors was crucial in keeping me aware of what was going on all around me.

I have to thank all my sponsors; Alumi Craft, Competitive Metals, MasterCraft Safety, Impact, Redline Performance, ProAm, Kartek, Jackson Motorsports Group, CBR, Harmon Racing Cells, and Bink Designs.”

Geoffrey leaves Firebird with the points lead followed by Competitive Metals teammate Dave Mason Jr. “With a pole on Sunday, two podiums and second place in the points we are real happy with our results,” said Dave Mason Sr. “Dave would say the same but he’s in school right now. We needed some work done to our car after Saturday’s race and Alumi Craft’s on-track support was there for us. I can’t thank them enough for the work they did. They are always there for us, their race support is fantastic.”

Alumi Craft switches gears and heads to the desert next as they will be racing the Competitive Metals class 10 car of Greg Parker at the General Tire Mint 400 March 20-24. They will be back on the track at the Lucas Oil Off Road Series event April 26-28 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Photography By Brian Binkert

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